The importance of this line of research lies in that the process does not need to first de-differentiate the skin cells into a kind of stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells. By skipping this phase, the process avoids potential problems in the body's rejection of the iPS cells.
Amazingly, the transformation occurs with the added presence of 4 proteins (one more protein than need to induce the effect in mice) over several weeks (compared to a few days in mice.) Research continues as the study highlights the significant differences in mice and human neural cells as well as the success rate of transformation (2-4% for human cells, 20% for mice.) The resultant cells aren't yet as capable as naturally derived neurons; generating less-robust electrical signals."
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